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Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

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Every week, Caroline Wright will be creating simple, civilized recipes for Food52 that feed four -- for under $20, in under 20 minutes.

Today: Couscous cooked risotto-style, for a springy supper without the wait.

This couscous recipe is a poor man’s risotto — an apt, if even paradoxical descriptor — that focuses on the cozy side of green, spring flavor. Israeli (or “pearl”) couscous is a lentil-sized pasta with an equally diminutive cooking time, so it cooks quickly in the reducing stock. Finished with salty cheese and the delicate licorice-flavored chervil, this recipe brings a bowl of yielding, soft flavors and textures of spring.

Couscous with Asparagus, Chervil + White Wine

4 tablespoons salted butter, divided
1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Israeli or pearl couscous
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
12 ounces asparagus (3/4 bunch), trimmed and cut into ½-inch pieces
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino
1/2 cup chopped pistachios, toasted if desired
1/4 cup roughly chopped chervil leaves

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.


As a freelance food writer and cook, I first wrote this style of recipe as a column on my blog, The Wright Recipes, as an excuse to cook good food for my friends in a quick and simple way. 

Twenty-Dollar, Twenty-Minute™ Meals grew into a cookbook that’s being published by Workman in May 2013. The recipes found here are original, made especially for Food52 to once again celebrate simple food with friends.

Photos by Caroline Wright

Read More:
Dinner Tonight: Seared Scallops + Roasted Fennel Couscous
Herbed Tuna and Israeli Couscous Salad with Cumin, Coriander and Citrus
5 Questions with Deborah Madison

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Tags: Wine, Weeknight Cooking, On the Cheap, Dinner, Faster, Everyday Cooking, Menu Ideas